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>> "the sentinel" a lot discussion on the u.s. economy and jobs. panelists include two economic advisers to president obama and mitt romney. it's hosted by the nationals association for business economics and it starts at 2: 30 p.m. eastern on c-span. -- there is allen facedd george off. >> 47% of americans see themselves as victims. do you share that vi? >> as i stated, the best social program of all is a job.
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>> do think half the country sees themselves as victims? >> i look positively at the people -- >> which you disagree with governor romney? >> i have my own point of view. our responsibility is to make sure that this is a country where everyone has the equal opportunity to compete and succeed and pursue their dreams. i will expand on this later. look at the records. who has created more opportunities? we want to help folks that are able-bodied and folks that are disabled want to work. that is a great characteristic of all americans.
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they want a government that reflects their values and gives them the opportunity to be a role model and to have a better opportunity. >> i do not think the statements -- it is very straightforward. they were divisive comments. we have seen too much divisive politics. >> moderated by david gregory. watch the entire debate tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> the first debate between mitt romney and president obama is next wednesday, october 3, and the university of denver. watch and engage with cs-span.
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follow our live coverage on c- span, and c-span radio, and online at last week, ruth bader ginsburg spoke to university of colorado law students about gay marriage. she also talked about the courts nomination process. this is about one hour 15 minutes. [applause] >> there is a great yiddish expression, whicih is, "let me say a few words before i speak." [laughter] those few words are to thank so many people. i want to start with the chancellor of our campus, who has been incredibly supportive of the law school. we are so grateful to have you here, phil. thank you for your support. [applause]
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we have several regents here. two are grads of our fine law school. we thank you for all of your support and your spirit. we do very much believe in engaging with the community and we want to continue to do so in many ways. i would acknowledge her leadership. in terms of the energy she has brought, this lecture was her brainchild. recognizing that, the chase award was given to her for her leading work in community center. i want to acknowledge her. [applause]
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and finally, all of you make such a difference to us. when i think about what makes us successful as a law school, having a diverse, inclusive, and collaborative community of outstanding students, faculty, staff, alum, and friends gives us a fabulous advantage. the members of the judiciary are here today, and there are several. very supportive alums, professors. this community can come together and make a difference and you all matter in so many anyways. i want to thank all of you. i cannot name you all, but you help make us special. now, when justice ginsburg agreed to come, she said, "i do not want to give a lecture, but i would like a fireside chat." i said, "that would be lovely." i gave myself the challenging assignment of coming up with a plan for our conversation. it was easy to know where to
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start. which is what a pioneer you have been, and many people here forget, in the 1950's, there were very few women in law school. if you might start by reminding those who remember and helping to enlighten those don't what -- t what that was like. >> in those ancient days, i went to law school in 1956, when women were 3% of the lawyers in the country. no more. no woman sat on any federal board of appeals. in the years i was going to law
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school, no women on any federal court of appeals. none on the supreme court. i had no women teachers. that was unheard of. what was law school like? we had five wounded in my class and of those nine were women. how did we feel? we thought all eyes were on us, so we'd better be prepared. if we were not come at it would reflect not only ourselves, but on all women. to see the difference, i will tell you the date is the mid- 1970's and women are in law school in numbers.
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this great professor said, i think it is great that we have so many women. but i have a certain longing for the way it was. [laughter] when the class was moving slowly, you needed a right answer, you called on the woman. she was always prepared. she would give the the right answer. then you can move on. nowadays, it is no different. women are as unprepared as the men. [laughter] one final note. the law school i attended had two teaching buildings. only one of them have a women's bathroom. so if you were in class you
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might miss some of the professors prose. but if you were taking an exam, in the building without the bathroom, you had to make a mad dash to the other building. we never complained. that is the way it was. >> when you graduated law school he face the challenge of finding a job, you had a challenge. firms did not often hire jews, they were skeptical of hiring women, and you were also a mother. so how did you get your first break? >> those were my three strikes. [laughter]
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there was no title 7, i graduated in 1959. but in the 1950's, law firms and some of the finest judges were up front in saying they wanted no women. they would feel uncomfortable dealing with a woman. as i often heard, we hired a woman at this firm wants, and she was dreadful. how many men did they hire the did not work out? it was not easy to get that first job. the first job was all important because if you got it and performed well, the next job was secure. i had a great professor. some of you may know his name.
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he was a great constitutional law scholar. he was in charge of getting judicial clerks ships for columbia law school students. i was a special cause, he was determined to give me a federal clerkship. so he recommended me to a judge. my candidate for you this year is ruth bader ginsburg. the judge said, i've looked at her resume, she has a four- year-old daughter. how can i rely on her? the professor said, get for a -- give her a chance. if she does not work out, there is a man in her class who will step in and take over for her.
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that is the carrot. the stick -- if you do not give for a chance, i will never recommend a another columbia clerk for you. that is how i got my first job. [laughter] it was at least a paying job. justice o'connor, no one would hire her. so she volunteered to work for a county attorney and said, if you think i am worth it at the end of four months, you can put me on the payroll. that is how she got her first job. >> for those not aware, justice o'connor is coming next year.
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your husband was someone who was extraordinary on many levels. he supported your career and is quoted as saying his greatest single accomplishment was supporting you. he also said, i learned very early on in our marriage that ruth was a terrible cook and for lack of interest, was unlikely to improve. [laughter] so he said, out of self preservation, i decided i'd cook.learned t to you have talked about this a lot, but what did it mean to have him as your life partner? >> i was blessed for 56 years
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married to a man who's go -- who thought my work was as important as this -- who thought my work was as important as his, and was a great chef. our arrangement in our early years was that i would do the everyday cooking and he would do the weekend and company cooking. when my daughter was about 14, 15, in high school, she noticed an enormous difference between mommy's cooking and daddy's cooking and she decided that the money should stay out of the kitchen. -- that mommy should be phased out of the kitchen.
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my daughter has inherited her father's talent. she comes once a month. fills the freezer. this time, she outdid herself. she made 48 individual meals. there is a tribute to marty. i think he would have liked it beyond anything else. the best-selling book in the supreme court gift shop. it is called "supreme chef" and it is a collection of 32 of his many, many recipes. it was put together by the wives of the justices. the justices spouses meet quarterly and they rotate
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catering responsibilities. marty was always the favorite caterer. make a cookbook." i think he wrote the recipes with me in mind because nothing is left out of it. before each section, one of the supreme court spouses rights her - writes her memories of marty. it is very well illustrated.
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when this book was first in the gift shop, they ordered only 1000 copies. they thought it would be for in house. they did a piece on it for npr. by 3:00 in the afternoon, they had 3000 orders. so now they have a good place upply. s >> speaking of your joint enterprise, there is a fabulous story about your experience as a mother and your son at a new york city private school and how they related to you. can you tell that story? >> this is in the 1970's. my child, i called him lively. his teachers called him hyperactive.
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[laughter] i could expect a call once a month to tell me about my child 's latest escapade. to come down and see the teacher or the school psychologist or the principal. one day, when i was particularly weary, i was sitting in my office and i said, this child has two parents. please alternate calls. it is his father's turn. [laughter] marty went to the school and he faced a three stone faces. what was his crime? your son stole the elevator.
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his response was, how far could he take it? [laughter] i do not know if it was his humor, when the school held to -- had to alternate calls, the calls came barely once a semester and there was no great improvement in my young son's behavior. i think people were much more reluctant to call a man away from his work than a woman. >> you are conscious of your special role as a woman on the supreme court. in three weeks after you had surgery, you went to the state of the union because he led the country to see there was a woman on the supreme court. when you joined the court, sandra day o'connor had been the only woman for some time.
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after she left, you went back to having a single woman. and now there are three. could you reflect on the dynamics of the court in terms of what it means to have a woman or more than one woman? >> sandra was alone on the court for 12 years. and by the way, when i showed up, three weeks after pancreatic cancer surgery, it is nothing compared to sandra. she was on the bench in nine days after her breast cancer surgery. in any case, we belong to the national association of women judges. they knew what happened when i got there. they had a reception at the courts in our honor. they presented us with t-shirts. sandra's read, i am sandra, not ruth. [laughter] mind read, i am ruth, not sandra. [applause]
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nevertheless, when we sat together, one lawyer with address me as justice o'connor. we do not look anything alike and we do not speak alike. .ut it was a woman's voice people like our solicitor general. before mine at the aclu -- a former mind at the aclue. and then i was there all alone. how did it feel? lonely. it was the wrong perception for people to seek just a little woman and eight larger men. but now, if you come to the
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court, because of my seniority, i sit towards the middle. justice kagan is on my left and justice sotomayor is on the other. these young women are not shrinking violets. they're very active in questioning. now the perception is yes, women are here to stay. when i'm asked when with there'll be enough, i said, when there are nine. [laughter] [applause] there have been nine men and nobody has raised the question about that.
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>> you would often say something and it would be ignored. then a male colleague might say the same thing and people would say, what a great idea. does that cover still happen to that ever still happen to you? can you reflect on why inclusiveness in our society is still such a continuing challenge? >> it does not happen now only because of a very good job i have. there are only nine of us. when i speak, my colleagues listened, just as i listen to each of them. but that experience, women of my generation, all of them have had. when a woman spoke, it was time out. noune
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-- most of that is gone. >> the challenge of gender discrimination is one that you spend a lot of your career fighting. and it is interesting to look at the ark of the chief justice views on this topic. when you argued before the courts and he was on it, he reportedly said comment you -- said, you would not settle for putting the susan b. anthony on the dollar, would you? he later joined your opinion in the united states versus virginia, calling for women to enter the military institute and he also wrote a landmark case concluding that the family would -- family medical leave a
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ct apply to state employers. when you think about the overall evolution of the doctrine and you look at his evolution, how do you explain it? >> let me go back to the case he -- you first mentioned. it was my last argument before the court. it was in the fall of 1978. it was a case about putting women on juries. it is not all that long ago that many states either did not put women on juries at all or allow them to sign up if they wanted to serve or had an opt- out system this case was of the latter kind, it was from the state of missouri. the court in kansas city would rk in kansasin kansa city would send out notices for
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jury duty and the notice would say if you are a woman, you are not required to serve. if you don't wish to serve, check here. if no card was returned, the clerk would assume that the woman did not want to serve. this was at a time when most states had changed. there were just a few holdouts, tennessee, missouri. and i had a precious 15 minutes to argue. i divided the argument with a public defender from kansas city. i spoke second. when that was done, about to sit down, justice rehnquist said, you will not settle for susan b. anthony's face on the new dollar.
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this is the same man that when i joined the court and my commission was going to be presented by janet reno -- janet said, "i am not a general, i am ms. reno." he wanted to make sure he could say it. smoothly. [laughter] so we had a dress rehearsal. he said, ms. reno three times. he cared about getting thit right. in the vmi case, he did join the judgment. this is about admitting women
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to the virginia military institute's, a facility the state of virginia operated for men only and had nothing comparable for women. so it was not a case about separate schools. the women colleges, most of them are on our side. the state cannot make an educational opportunity available for one sex only. in any event, it lacked justice -- it left justice scalia as the lone dissenter. the family medical leave act, the chiefs understanding that it was important for us to make -- it should be part of a worker's life. when you have a sick child, six spouse, a sick parent, you can take time off without putting
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your job in jeopardy. well, i would like to say i had something to do with the chief's education, but i do not think that is true. the cases influenced him. but most of all, i think he was influenced by his granddaughters. one of his daughters was divorced and she had two girls. and the old chief took responsibility for being a male parent figure for those girls. they loved him and i think he thought about how he would like the world to be for them. >> when you think about this evolution, starting in 1971, the case involving a probate
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law in idaho that said males must be preferred to females in appointed administrators, it is quite a movement in the court's position. you literally were there every step of the way. with respect to that first step, could you relate to how you got involved in that case? >> it is a good example of that series of cases because they were all genuine. there were no test cases in the sense that they were set up by any organizations. she was a woman from boise, idaho. she and her husband had a son. they separated and sally was
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given custody of the boy when he was of tender years. and then the boy reached his teens and the father said, i should spend time with him. and the family court judge said, i suppose so. now he needs to be prepared for a man's world. sally thought the man's home was not a good place for their son to be. but the judge made the decision. the boy was severely depressed and one day, took one of his father's rifles and killed himself. so sally went to be appointed administrator of the boy's estate. not because it had any value. the idaho law at the time read,
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males must be preferred to females. salad took that case with her -- sally took the case with her own lawyer from boise, idaho, through three levels of the idaho courts. when a colleague of mine read the report of the idaho supreme court's decision, he said, this is going to be the turning point case for gender in the supreme court. and he was right. sally reed won a unanimous judgment.
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the core pretended not to be doing anything new. if you look back, 1961, the court decided a case. hoyt v. florida. she was what we would call a battered woman. one day, her philandering husband had humiliated her to the breaking point. she spied her son's baseball bats in the corner of the room. with all her might, she brought it down on her husband head. he fell to the floor and that was the end of the argument, at the end of the husband, and the beginning of the murder prosecution. so gwendolyn hoyt thought, if there were women on the jury,
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they might better understand her state of mind. even if they did not acquit her of the murder charge, they might come in with a verdict of manslaughter. she was convicted of murder by an all male jury. when the case came to the supreme course, we do not understand what this complaint is about. women have the best possible -- best of all possible worlds. they're not on the jury rolls, but if they want to serve, they can for the asking. think of how many men would sign up if they did not have to. she was told this and was dumbfounded. they did not understand her plight. this was in 1961.
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the liberal warren court. 10 years later, the sally reed case came before the conservative court. a very different response. >> during your time in your -- when you were litigating cases, did you have any trials -- might you talk about the difference between trial work and appeal work? >> there were some cases i started to at the ground and took all the way up. there was one such case. but our cases were not the kind of dramatic trials you might watch on television. the all presented
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constitutional question. the me talk about that case, true brought in new jersey in federal district court. this was a man who whose wife was a math teacher in high school, she had a healthy pregnancy, she remained in the classroom until the ninth month. she went to the hospital to give birth and the doctor said, you have a healthy baby boy, but your wife died of an embolism. stephen was determined that he did not work full-time until his child was in school full time. he earned the minimum that he could make combined with social security benefits come and make a living for himself and his
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infant son. when you went to the social security office, they said, we are very sorry, they said, these are mothers benefits. they are not available -- they're available to widowed mothers, but not a widow fathers. i came to know about his case when he wrote a letter to the editor of his local newspaper. he said, i'd been hearing a lot of talk about women's lib. this is what happened to me. how does that seem fitting? tell my story to gloria steinem. at the time, i was teaching at rutgers. the state university of new jersey. someone read this letter and she said, that is wrong.
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n't it? why don't you suggest that he contact the american civil used liberties union. that is how we started this case in the district court. it was not a question of putting on evidence. the facts undisputed. arguing the point that this law, which was described as beneficial to women, that all such laws, the root of the discrimination is against the women. but he paid social security taxes just like the rest of us. they did not gain for family the same protection as the family of a male wager. -- wage earner.
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the discrimination begins with the woman and then the man because he is the role of parent rather than breadwinner. does not get the benefits. there was a unanimous judgment of the supreme court in that case. and by the way, we got it from the district course to the supreme court before he reached his third birthday. that is record speed. for federal litigation. the court reached a unanimous judgment, but divided three ways. three thought it discriminated
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against the male as parents. one said, i see this from the vantage point of the baby. it makes no sense the child should have the opportunity from the sole surviving care of the parent. only if that parent is female. not if the parent was male. other cases i was involved in from the ground floor, the pregnant problem. into the early 1970's, if a woman taught in public school, and she began to show, summer -- between four and six months, she was put on maternity leave.
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it was on paid leave, she had no right to return. -- unpaid leave. one of the reasons for this policy was after all, we do not want the children to think that their teachers swallowed a watermelon. [laughter] then there were a whole series of cases involving women in service. pregnancy was considered immoral or administrative grounds for immediate discharge. so that -- another type of case, a woman who had a blue-collar job wanted to get health insurance for her family. her employer had a better package than her husband's
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employer, so she said, i would like family coverage. her supervisor said, family coverage is available only to men. women can get single coverage. so in all these cases, you can see what is at work. the woman is seen as someone who is secondary. the man is the breadwinner. when the man steps out of his proper role as a breadwinner and wants to take care of a baby, the law was not there to protect him. if the woman who wants to get equal pay does not because she is considered not the real breadwinner in the family. >> you brought a number of cases where the men were
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suffering based on the distinction. can you talk about what drove that decision and why you chose that strategy. >> the first case -- the social security benefits or child and -- were child and care benefits. then there was the same differential on retirement, a woman could get benefits for herself, but not for her spouse. or when she died, survivors insurance, the man could not collect as a survivor. so after the wife -- after the case was won, we brought a series of cases to end all of those gender lines.
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in the social security law. perhaps i should say something about how we stopped using the word sex and started using the word gender. i had a great secretary at columbia law school. she was typing my briefs. she said, i am typing these briefs and all over the word sex is sticking out. that -- don't you know that the first association of that word is not what you want those judges to be thinking about. [laughter] use gender, it is a nice term. it will ward off distracting associations. [laughter] but the message we were trying to get across is that when you
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pigeonhole people on the grounds of race, religion, whatever, and you do not let them be free, to be due and to be me, is a wonderful song by that peoplethomas, should not be held back by man- made laws from using whatever god-given talent they have. girls as well as boys should be free to aspire and achieve. >> what is interesting to think about it through 1971, over 100 years after the clause that
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forms the foundation of this doctrine was adopted as a case study in constitutional law, what lessons do we get from looking at this doctrine that did not come around until after 100 years -- how does that speak to issues are around originalism or jurisprudence? >> the original constitution included the bill of rights, the word equal never appeared. to some people, that is startling because after all, the declaration of independence was the motivating idea, all men are created equal. why wasn't the word equal included in the original constitution? one obvious reason.
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it was the odious practice of slavery. that is why we do not get the quality principle written into the constitution until the 14th amendment. one of the three post civil war amendments. and it says -- nor shall any state deny to any person the equal protection of the laws. well, the reaction to that was everyone knows that the equal protection clause is about racial segregation, racial discrimination. it has nothing to do with women. and if you asked the framers of the 14th amendment, what women have the right to own property in their own names, sue and be
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sued, they would say, certainly not. if they were here today, the idea of a quality has growth -- the idea of equality has growth potential and it was meant to have growth potential, to keep up with society as it changes from generation to generation. one of the earliest arguments made was in the 1870's by a woman who thought she should exercise the most basic right of citizens, should be able to vote. so she wrote the equal -- so she invoked the equal protection
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clause and the court said, of course, we agree with you. women are persons, but so, too, our children. -- are children. no one will think children have the right to vote. that was the attitude in the 1870's. i think the idea of equality and depreciation -- and appreciation that of racial discrimination, holding people back because of who they are and not what they can do is not compatible with the society that truly believes in equality. it was in world war ii, we went
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in with segregated troops. we were fighting a war against racism and yet our armed forces practiced racism. it was the awakening in the second world war, i think. the problem of apartheid in america, and then to the notion that all people should have the opportunity to aspire, to achieve, to be whatever they have the ability to do. i think the people who wrote the equal protection clause would probably say, yes, in the 21st century, it certainly includes -- we meant it to
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include people who were almost left out. other people were left out, native americans were not considered citizens. >> as callista and follows up -- >> the rights of gays and lesbians under the equal protection clause. and how their issues are likely to follow a similar arch. -- similar arc. >> that question goes up against the so-called ginsburg rule. [laughter] when i went before the senate judiciary committee, but my role -- rule was you can ask about anything i have written, about any of the hundreds of
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decisions i wrote when i was a judge on the court of appeals for the d.c. circuit, but you cannot ask me a question about an issue that is likely to come up before the court. i think everybody knows that not that long ago, congress passed a law called the defense of marriage act, which says marriage is between a man and a woman. if you come from a state that recognizing same-sex marriage, but massachusetts, no other state has to recognize that marriage. it will not be recognized for any federal purposes, like for social security. the petition for review has been filed in the supreme court. it would be extraordinary for the court to be asked to
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consider the constitutionality of the law passed by congress. it had been held unconstitutional. i think it is most likely that we will have that issue before the court towards the end of the current term. and the person who asked the question will have the answer. [laughter] >> another question comes from the auditorium. the lilly ledbetter case is where you wrote an emotionally charged to send. you read from the bench, is a
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rare act. can you reflect on that and how it felt to have your request in the dissent answered? it was passed and the first law that president obama signed. >> i should preface my answer by saying when an opinion it is ready to be released, the author of the majority opinion will summarize the decision from the bench. not read every word of the often long opinion. then we will note that it has been filed, period. the dissent's are not ordinarily summarize from the bench unless you feel the court that wrong and it egregiously
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so, and that is what i thought in the lilly ledbetter case. i think most of you have heard about this case. the ledbetter -- lilly ledbetter it was a manager for the goodyear tire plant in alabama. she was the lone woman in such a position at that plant. when she was in gauge in the 197's, she got the starting salary for people in that position -- which was engaged. over the year her pace slipped in relation to her male peers -- her pay slipped. she did not want to be known as a troublemaker. one day when she was close to retirement age, one of her co-
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workers to put a slit in her box that said her salary and the salary of the men doing the same job. she was getting 13 cents on the dollar less than the most junior occupant of the same position. she brought a complaint under title 7. she had a jury trial and won sizable verdict. the decision was upheld and the supreme court said, you sued too late. you have 180 days from the first time her pay slipped to file lawsuits. women are breaking new ground do not want to rock the boat.
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they know if they sue, the defense will be and have nothing to do with her being a woman. she just didn't perform as well as the men. when she got a good performance ratings and that is one the top performers, that defense is no longer available. employers do not give out salary figures. so how would she even know? her view was that every time she got a pay check in which her severed reflected discrimination every month, the discrimination is renewed. so she would have 180 days from each paycheck to begin her lawsuit.
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the experience that lilly ledbetter had is something that is common to women of her generation or my generation and yet the court interpreted 180 days from the first incident of discrimination. she did not sue then, too bad. my dissent said she wrote a law that thou shall not discriminate based on sex. surely this case should be covered. my colleagues give a parsimonious reading to this law. my statement ended, "the ball is now in congress' court to correct what i see as a misperception by my colleagues
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of the will." inside of two years, the lilly ledbetter act passed overwhelmingly and it was the first law that obama signed when he took office. >> this question comes from the auditorium. a number of 5-4 decisions became very high profile -- bush vs. gore -- got a lot of attention and were accompanied by a commentary that the court was looking like more of a political actor. how do you enter that charge? >> there will be cases that will divide that way. overall, our agreement rate is
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much higher than our disagreement rate. we had 15 5-4's lastyear. we had 25 unanimous judgments. but agreement is boring. disagreement is interesting. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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so you're saying that agreement it is boring. it is conflict that gets people's attention. >> yes. and in the cases of constitutional questions, there are very unusual alliances. my disagreement rate is highest with justice thomas and with justice scalia. but we also agreed in 61% of the cases. so it is not as though, in every case, there are the usual suspects. still, important questions like campaign finance, we do have very different views. but we know that this institution, which i think it's like no other in the world is something all of us try beyond
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our very own individual egos to make it work. the supreme court is the most collegiate place i have ever worked. and i will give you -- you mentioned bush before -- you mentioned bush vs. gore. it was the most intense time that i was on the court. there were shocked divisions -- there were sharp divisions. i went to justice kennedy's
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chambers to watch the news report. and then i got the call in my chambers from justice scalia. he said, ruth, why are you still in chambers? go home and take a hot bath. trip as trying as the time was -- as trying as that time was, you had to go on with the january sitting and we did. i think it was almost the same. >> we have two different questions. but they are very similar.
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looking back on all of the cases that you have decided, can you pick up the ones the were the most influential and maybe the one that your most proud of? >> i am very pleased with the vmi case. both of the members of the faculty were elated because it meant they could except women applicants and upgrade their applicant pool and get better -- [laughter] +, when people said to me, women don't want what was called the system that they had for the first year, the rat line.
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and i said i wouldn't want it and my daughters and granddaughters wouldn't want. but there plenty of women who do and may not have the opportunity. the decisions that paved the way for bmi was started at the university of mississippi for women. hogan wanted to be a nurse. mississippi university for women had the best nursing college in the area. so he wanted to go to that school. his case came up in justice o'connor's first year on the court. she wrote the decision saying
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that the state college for nurses had to admit men who were qualified. first, when i brought that decision home to my husband, he said, ruth, did you write that? [laughter] and second, it was her appreciation that you better believe there's something you can do for a field that had been nominally female to get more men to be doing the job because, when men get into the field, pay increases. [laughter] you asked about male plaintiffs. this was accidental. but it turned out that hogan's
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case tried to get into the women's college was the principal for the women wanted to attend vmi. >> have you gotten letters from women who have cents -- who have since attended vmi? >> yes. and from parents. one night prize most was from a man -- one that i prize most was from a man who graduated from vmi. he said -- by the way, only 15% of the graduates enter the military. most of them have careers in business and politics. and you need an all-boy network to help graduates on their way. this man wrote come in my life, i have met women who are as determined as i am, tougher than i am.
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why shouldn't women have their choice? and some months later, i heard from the same man. the letter enclosed something to paper. i opened it up. it looked like a little tin soldier. the letter said, this is the key to it in the is given to every mother of vmi graduates. my mother died last week. i think she would want you to have her committed pin -- her cadet pin. it is something i chairs to this day. >> this next question -- what is the greatest threat you can see to our american legal
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system? >> the threat that we will be so overcome by security concerns that we will sacrifice the freedom, the individual rights that our country has stood for. maintaining liberty and freedom in a time of terror is always difficult and we have made some dreadful mistakes. think of what happened to people of japanese ancestry on the west coast in world war ii. i think we learn from our mistakes. we won't make that mistake again. but it is not being so overwhelmed by security concerns -- of course, security is important -- but our individual rights must be preserved. otherwise, we are no different from the forces we are fighting
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against. >> how do you feel the supreme court has shared in the terrorism case it has seen in the last decade? >> i think the court has done pretty well, starting with the government's first position on guantanamo bay. guantanamo bay is no man's land. it is not a part of the united states. we rented from cuba -- we rent it from cuba. to the extent that law exists in guantanamo bay, it is u.s. law. there is no other power. certainly castro is not controlling what is happening there. so the government has said get
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rid of habeas corpus. it does not extend to guantanamo bay. yet it does. for that purpose, it was part of the usa. and we have many cases still in the lower courts. so all of the terms are not in. >> so the next question is one i know you never get. what is your view of the nomination process? and how in any way might be improved to make it less, some would say, for straying or demeaning? >> and it was -- frustrating or demeaning? >> it has not always been the way.
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there were divided votes and all of those cases. people tend to vote along party lines. contrast that with the way it was when i was nominated in 1993 and justice fryer the following year. -- justice stephen brier, roof dedekind's bird. -- ruth bather ginsberg. my biggest supporter on the senate judiciary committee was senator orrin hatch. and he confirmed that.
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the hearings when over three days, but there were no hardball questions. so the senators were mostly using me to speak to me to their constituents to show how caring there were, how well- informed they were. [laughter] they spent a lot more time talking benighted. [laughter] -- they spend a lot more time talking than i did. [laughter] i helped to launch the women's rights project. i had been on the council for seven years. there was not a single question, not a single question about my aclu affiliation. i think what it will take is great stakes on both sides of the aisle and this is not the
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fault of one party rather than the other. the over 30-votes for someone qualified in any case, it will take both sides of the aisle to come together and say it enough, this is not the way it should be. we should be approving judges. a person who is devoted to the law, to do the hard work that is involved. that is what should count. there was a great man who said the true symbol of the united states is not the bald eagle. it is the pendulum. so i hope the pendulum will swing back to the way it was in 1993 and 1994. >> in one hopeful sign, dick durbin, the senator from
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illinois, the no. 2 person in the senate, the majority leader said he thought lindsay gramm had it right, which is that there should be some difference to the president. your hope may have some traction. the last question comes from alumni in the audience. although i reserve the right to ask a follow-up question. [laughter] what qualities should pay law school -- would call it should the law school be focusing on for the next generation -- what qualities should a law school be focusing on for the next generation of lawyers.
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>> law is supposed to be learned profession. if you are a member of a learned profession, you are not satisfied with merely turning over a block. -- turning over a buck. you know you have something special. you owe it to your community to help make things better for others. i think the lawyer who commits himself to public service can make a living that is necessary and also to remember the people who desperately need representation and will not have a unless you care -- will not have it unless you care. i will do my job and collect my
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fees and am not interested in the rest of the world. i did not consider that person a true professional. >> we will do our best. [laughter] i cannot thank you enough. this has been delightful and a treat for everyone here. let's all thank you for your time. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> a live discussion on the u.s. economy and jobs. panelists include two economic
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advisers and is hosted by the association of business economics and it starts like that to o'clock 30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> former virginia governor tim kaine and george allen faced each other. >> 47% of americans are too dependent on congress. >> i ask you pointedly. do you share that vision of america? what specifically would you do to deal with that 47%? >> as i stated in the beginning, david, the best social program of all is a job. how do you provide more job opportunities for people? >> do you think that half the country sees themselves as victims -- >> i look very positive lay at the people -- >> do you disagree with governor romney on this point?
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>> i have my own point of view. i believe that the people of america still believe in the american dream. and our responsibility as leaders and public servants is to make sure that this is a country that has an equal opportunity to compete and succeed and pursue their dreams. the way i look at it and i will expand on it later in our debate, but the point is that, as you look at the records, who has created more opportunities? i mentioned welfare reform. those are folks who were down and out and temporarily needed help. and we want to help people who are able minded and able-bodied and even folks who are disabled who want to work. that is one of the great
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attributes and characteristics of all americans. they don't look at themselves as victims. they want a government that reflects their values and gives them the opportunity to reach their aspirations and be their>> i don't think that the question over whether you agree with mitt romney is hard. >> this debate is courtesy of wrctv. watch the entire debate monday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> we're trying to encourage app developers to it than about what they truly need. if you are playing a game, do they really need to have a geolocation of information if they are going to track the consumer and can aggregate the consumer the entire day? what information is really needed to make the ad functional? who else should see it? should access be limited? how long do you need to retain
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it? when your done, what do you do? >> one of the biggest problems is the work force. they're looking for more and more people to move in and work on creating maps and all that go into it. -- creating apps. they think we're going to come. intel ever won how to do their business. their only real fear was workforce issues. the rest is nothing bought optimism. >> smartphone app, privacy, tonight on "the communicator's." >> therefore -- >> voicing their concerns over the new voter i.d. law for several states. this will disproportionately affect poor and minority voters less likely to have a driver's
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license or passport. hosted by the national black caucus, this is two and a half hours. >> good morning. we appreciate your presence and participation in this opening of the annual legislative conference. let me just say that we hope all of you will refer to what we're doing at the annual legislative conference. you are not coming to the cbc weekend. this was suggested that this is a party. we hope you will see this as what it is and what we intend this to be. that is an opportunity for you to participate in some fabulous and well thought out forums as
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well as a brain trust. since 2011, the american public has come under attack. we never would have predicted in that in's or the 1980's 2011 that we would be fighting an attempt to suppress or discourage minorities voting power. we should have understood it because in 2008, african- american and latino turnout was the highest ever.
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[applause] for the first time in u.s. history, african-american of voter turnout equaled white voter turnout percentage-wise. not in numbers. we were dumb if we did not understand that there would be a response to that. we did not predict what happened. it has been estimated that the block the vote efforts could cost about 5 million black voters across the country. that could jeopardize the election, which ever way you choose to vote. [laughter]
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this is a foundation. we take no political sides. i am for whoever wants to win. [laughter] nevertheless, we have had 176 restrictive bills regarding voting laws that have been proposed in 41 states. i understand that we cannot even find an instance of voter fraud in the last 20 something years. they have investigated like two. other than what i mentioned earlier, why would there be such an effort to deter minority voting power? this was both humorous and dangerous.
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when i started looking into the cleaver family background, i was fortunate enough to have my great-grandfather's with me until i was out of college. the males tend to live a long time. most of them get right up to or past 100. i will probably get hit by a truck. my great-grandfather lived to be 103. my twin boys sat on his knee on his 100th birthday, my great- grandfather. he preached, worked in the community, and in 103 years never voted.
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he refused to pay the texas poll tax. it was only a $50 cents, but i was a lot of money. even if he had it, it was the principal. in 1879, we were constitutionally regarded as 3/5 humans, above the apes. when the 15th amendment was passed. unless your grandfather had voted, you have to take a literacy test. no grandfather of a black person ever voted, so all black people in texas and other states had to take the tests and the test that has irritated me the most and the alabama literacy test -- you can find these test, and all
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will do is make you angry. do not do it. you will have to do it on the train or something. it says before you can vote, you must recite the constitution. of course, no one is going to be able to recite the constitution so they are then rendered to beat to the electorate to vote. that is why i become so angry at any african-american who refuses to vote. they are not worth their color if they do not vote. they should give us their color back. the african-american credentials need to be snatched. that is an insult to the ancestors and the people who
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brought us to where we are right now. there would be no black caucus but for the men and women who fought and died that we might have an opportunity to gather here in washington. there would be no 42 members of the congressional black caucus. on the 25th of this month, we are launching national voter registration day in the areas where we have a black member of congress. we will have a rally at the election boards in all of these cities. in three cities, we will have huge concerts' with top entertainers in the country. if you register to vote, you can come in free. if you're not registered, register at the door and then come in free. if you have a change of address card, you can come in and stl
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have it be free. we have to get people energized in understanding what's being happened to us. people understood what was being done and still chose not to vote, i understand that they have some mental problems. if they are unaware, then maybe that's our fault. we have to lead from washington going by, and explaining to people what's going on. i appreciate the opportunity the you have to come here all over the country to hopefully leave with a voter guide toolkit you can take back your home district and understand this a voter i.d. law is intended to have some consequences. my father just turned 90 years old and he is just as alert as anybody in here. he rides a bicycle about 3 miles two or three times a week.
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the men last long time and maintain their mental dexterity. my father would not be able to vote because it would not have a driver's license. if you do not have an id in the state of texas, its $21. $21. we need to leave here energized and in some ways angry at the audacity that people have in trying to keep us from the polls. they're not going to stop us. the have been trying to stop us from more than 400 years and we have not stopped yet. this is not the time to even think about stopping. let me now introduce one of my classmates, the person i came to
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congress with, and when i first met her, i knew. she was going to be someone special. she already was, but she was going to be even special-er. lo and behold, very quickly she began to move up in the democratic caucus. eventually, she caught the eye of the president of the united states code, -- who asked her to be the first member to serve in a congressional seat and chaired the democratic national committee. my good friend and the person who has been leading us up until this point, debbie wasserman schulz from the 20th district in florida. [applause] >> thank you, thank you. thank you so much. thank you so much. good morning. thank you so much, chairman cleaver. can i ask you to give a round of
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applause to my friend and our leader, emanuel cleaver. such an amazing spokesperson for civil rights and civil liberties. i'm proud to be her to join my colleagues in the congressional black caucus for the legislative congress. as a member of congress representing communities within south florida and ensuring the fundamental rights we have, the right to vote. as the person charged by president obama to lead the democratic national committee to get obama and joe biden across the finish line, i'm interested in other -- any efforts to suppress or deny voting rights. we need it a forum on voting rights but we press on. chairman, thank you so much for
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your friendship and leadership and from that you do for the african-american community and all americans as chair of the congressional black caucus. for my sister friends and the man who always has my back, congratulations to both of you on your to chairmanship. the program that the two of you have put together is outstanding and i look forward to participating in many of the workshops and events. and number of my colleagues are here today. i hear rumors about future leadership opportunities and i'm glad to hear that. an excellent choice. john lewis, charlie rangel, and so many other members who were here. it's a pleasure to serve with you. 47 days. 47 days until americans go to the polls. there is so much work to be done on so many fronts. i know this will help us focus and drive our legislative efforts, but we should also use the information we gather here to help inform others about the
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issues that are at stake in this election. this is not just relegated to the history books. it's an ongoing struggle, one that each generation must fight. we stand together in this fight and have a commitment to protecting the fundamental right to vote for all americans regardless of their party or political belief. that is because we no voting rights are the core of our democracy. this strengthens our society and provides fertile ground for liberty to furnish -- floors. we should not allow them to succeed. we must remain vigilant in our efforts that all eligible americans have the opportunities for their voices to be heard and their ballots counted so we continue to move our country forward. i'm sure you're all aware of recent suppression efforts in my home state of florida and throughout the country. we have seen these efforts that
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may not seem as effort -- obvious than the ones one generation ago, but it is no less insidious. more than 30 state legislators introduced legislation or passed laws making it harder to vote, not easier. these new restrictive laws shorten the early voting windows, eliminated day of registration and made it more difficult to do their job. there is no coincidence. we know these affect all voters, but we also know they fall disproportionately on certain communities, especially african- american voters. in the history of american voting rights, access has never remain stagnant. it has either move forward or moved back. the legacy of our generation's history is up to us to determine. they're forcing our state,
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local, and the federal constitution right. a judge permanently enjoined on voter registration drives like those conducted by teachers or the league of women voters. another panel found restrictions on early voting was disproportionately affecting minority voters and refused to shorten the early voting days in the five florida counties subject to the voting rights act. the voter i.d. law in texas also violates the voting rights act saying the heaviest burden would fall disproportionately on poor and minority voters. two weeks ago, they voted on behalf of obama for america granting an injunction in restoring early voting in ohio the weekend before election day. we're continuing to fight in
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the circuit of appeals. >> thank you. we will continue the fight all across the land. two days ago, the pennsylvania supreme court took action to question that new voter law. they upheld the law and told the trial court they must make certain that the new law resulted in a no voter disenfranchisement -- none. that case continues. so will we. we will continue to fight. [applause] thank you, thank you. i am proud to be a member with a steady hoyer's voting rights working group and to be until we don't -- an original cosponsor. we're working together to preserve the ability of voters to cast their ballots and have their votes count. we need to make sure that the public remains unformed and vigilant and that is what this morning's panel is all about. justice has a funny way a
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prevailing when those who defended remain restless. take heart. remain restless. by all means -- vote. make sure everyone a you know within the sound of your voice and within your arms reach casts their right to vote. thank you so much and have a wonderful conference. thank you. [applause] please welcome the co-chair of this year's annual legislative congress, congresswoman when more and andre carson's and congress wicharles rangel. [applause] [applause] >> good morning, brothers and
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sisters. we want to thank our chairman for his service. me also want to thank our good friend and sister, my classmates, rep debby wasserman schulz, who you just heard from. there is no way to start a town hall meeting of the legislative conference without asking elders for permission to speak. we have on the state with us today one of the founding members of the congressional black caucus bless this affair and bring us greetings. ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, please welcome representative charles rangel
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from the 15th district of new york. [applause] >> thank you, my good friends. thank you so very, very much. you may notice that when speakers come out here to speak, normally they come out alone and they either read or greet you. they told me in the back that i had one minute to speak to you. and so, with all of my 82 years, i looked to both of them startled when they just smiled and said to go one out. i had no idea they were prepared to do what we do at the apollo. [applause] in new york, if you go over
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time and the audience is not pleased, they will just drag you onstage. quite frankly, as always, i am just so overwhelmed and excited about how far we have come. when i got to the congress in 1971, i was met from a mentor in michigan, a man who had so much division in recognizing that not only where our roots from africa, but africa had to be a player in the world scene. the late and great adam paul, we join together, the 13 of us, and became the congressional black caucus. we did not get together just because we were men and women of
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color but because we recognized that coming together was a vision of strength. a coming together meant our votes meant something. coming together meant we wanted to tell everybody, no matter where they lived, about whether or not they had a member of colorant did not matter because we took the responsibility to speak for them wherever they were. can you imagine in 10 years that 15 grew to 26? and then another 10 years to 42. and now the congressional black caucus is the largest caucus that we have in the house of representatives. [applause] to think, to dream, and perceive that one of our membership is now the president's of the
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united states. -- the president of the united states. [applause] with all the struggles we suffered in the civil rights movement, with all of the marching, the praying, the dying that people had done for us, please do not any of you walk away not realizing that this struggle continues. the same type of mentality that would prevent us from voting yesterday exists today with the same motivations to stop us from voting. with all of the pride, dignity, and feelings that we have as to where we have been and where we are today, please come each and every one of you, walk away believing that this is just the beginning -- for you, for your children, for your children's children. take me off!
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[applause] >> charlie rangel, everybody. my name is charlie. [laughter] this is the 42nd annual legislative conference. i want to welcome you to the national town hall meeting. as it co-chair of this year's annual legislative congress, it has been an honor and a thrill to work with my giant colleague, congressman carson of indiana. [applause] >> thank you. >> not only is this the national town hall meeting, but all of
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the issues will be discussed here and throughout the congress are very near and dear to the hearts of the congressional black caucus. i know that they are concerned that you in the larger community have boswell. it is our wish that you will take the information, the handouts, the various speakers that we have and gather this information together and take it back to your communities. it cannot be said a enough that we need your help to get this crucial work done. we want you all to be like ants. ants can carry multiple times their body weight. you look at the end and wonder what you can do.
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-- you look at the ant and wonder. tothergether, the ant eats the elephant. [applause] >> it has been an honor to serve as your co-chair for this year's alc. i mean it from the bottom of my heart. i'm from the midwest. you were looking gorgeous in that canary yellow. >> , on now. -- come on now. [laughter] >> my home state of indiana was the first of many to enact a voter i.d. laws. our republican legislature passed one of the most restrictive laws requiring voters to present a government- issue voter i.d. in order to have their vote counted. they claimed that this law was necessary because it would address rampant voter fraud.
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in truth, the state of indiana has never convicted anyone of a voter impersonation. what we do know is that this law makes it harder for certain populations to vote, including the elderly, young people, and african-americans. it is alarming that we have a responsibility to get the word out. in the great state of texas, you can present a gun license to vote, but a student ideas and sufficient. that's a problem. with that in mind, i'm very pleased that we have a spectacular and augusta body of distinguished panelists, scholars, political strategists who will buy more deeply into these issues.
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but we must go forward from this conference, inspire, and motivate to show up in this year's election. [applause] before we get to our steamed moderator, activist, and the educator, the foundation has a brief video we would like to share. >> hello, my name is catherine hutchins clark and this is my mother. my mother is 92. this is the story of all the trials she had to go through in order to get a photo id in order to vote in the state of wisconsin. >> when this act was passed, i
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figured i had everything so it would not have to worry about it. i have my social security that's driver's license all i need. then my daughter tells me about all of the pain you have to go through, it was shocking to me. >> she had been voting for at least 60 years and she had even been a poll worker in the state of wisconsin. it is very upsetting to find out that after all this time, now she had to have something extra in order to go through what she was doing before. we began our journey right around 2011. from then on now we're conducting business and we decide to go to the dmv. they would not give her one.
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my mother has an expired driver's license. they said it was not good because it was too old. she has a photo id from the department of aging that would not work either. the only way she could get a photo id was to have a certified birth certificate from the state of mississippi where she was born. as soon as they told me that, i know of is going to be a problem because i had tried to get a certified birth certificate from the state of mississippi if years prior to that. it cost me $2,000 to get a corrected certified birth certificate. there were so many errors that they told me i would have to go to court and i would have to hire an attorney in the state of mississippi in order to do that. so with attorney fees, court costs, it was $2,000. >> ladies and gentlemen, please
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welcome our moderator hose of " our world black enterprise," dr. lamont hill. [applause] [applause] good morning, everybody. welcome to our discussion on post-racial america. ya'll ain't heard? s as an important discussion we're going to have about voter discrimination, a voter i.d. laws and how what constitutes the 21st century former racial discrimination. there's a lot of discussion going on right now about what this voter i.d. means. republicans say one thing, democrats and other. i think they want me to be non- partisan and objective. before they come out, i'm going
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to tell you something. this is not anything to be objective about. this is a clear case of racial discrimination. what is going on right now is important. [applause] this election will be decided by these types of issues. republicans do not win by a genius. they did not win because they make a compelling argument. republicans do not win because they convinced the people their plan, for the 47% of us, is good. what they do is they win by the margin of four people who do not vote. the win by the margin of browne people who do not vote, the black people who do not vote. even so, in 2008 barack obama was able to register a whole new generation of voters and galvanized a whole new wave of people going to the polls to make decisions about their future, education, health care. even though all that happened, have managed to convince us that for the sake of "preventing voter fraud," they need to
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restrict our access to the polls. they call it voter fraud. you know what the odds are of a voter fraud occurring? one in one trillion. you have a better chance of being struck by lightning in front of a house that you won on publishers clearing house. [laughter] the odds are so slim and yet they convince us of that? so today we have have a conversation, and analysis, an action plan. we're going to talk about the issues, where this comes from -- because this is not new -- and what to do between now and november so that we do not lose this election. we can lose an election, but we can never lose the vote. i say it again. we can lose an election, but we cannot lose the vote. it's a reflection of our citizenship. it is a sign of how far we have,
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as a nation. the voting right was cosigned and written in the blood of our grandmothers, our grandfathers, our great grandfathers, great- grandmother's, those who have struggled to make us human beings. even if the world is not fully convinced of that fact, i am, you are, we are. we have a group of people here with different ideas were all committed to protecting our interests, our vote, and our country. before reintroduce the panel, i would like to thank the service employees international union they are a sponsor. [applause] i want to thank valerie long the international executive vice president. jerry hudson executive vice president. for 90 years, they have been
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committed to providing a fair and economy, providing for equality and making sure all working people live with dignity. at a moment when workers' rights are under attack, it's so important. give them another round of applause, please. [applause] i know you did not come to hear me talk, so it's time to bring in the panel. first up is representative marcia fudge. ohio getting a shout out. next up, another legend, representative john lewis. [applause] we also have representative mel
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watts. [applause] next up, one of my favorite people i love to watch duke it out. ms. donna brazile. [applause] next up, some of you have heard of this gentleman, a civil rights leader, activist, and on your television, reverend al sharpton. [applause] i want to give a special thank you to reverend sharpton because he was able to fill in for us on short notice. when i asked him to come, i told
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him he would be moderating. normally he does them with three key civil-rights organizations duties in conjunction. i apologize for that. we do thank him for being here. give rev. sharpton a round of applause. [applause] i said this was going to be a diverse panel. why are you laughing? we have some conservatives. we went through the whole congressional black congress and we found black republicans -- both of them. ms. crystal wright and mr. ron
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christie. [applause] while you were in the back, one thing asset to the audience was that, to me, the battle over access to the polls is perhaps the most clear case of racial discrimination that we have in the 21st century. that is my premise. you may disagree, but i want to start there. let me start with you, ms. brazile. you have been in some of the key states where this is happening. what do you see going on? >> it's a great honor to be a part of this distinguished panel this morning and to be a part of the congressional black caucus legislative weekend. over the last 12 months, we have seen more than 180 restrictive voter i.d. laws introduced in state legislatures all from the country. just to let you know the impact just to let you know the impact that these laws will have

Politics Public Policy Today
CSPAN September 24, 2012 10:00am-12:00pm EDT


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